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Publication date: 29 March 2016

Marc Wouters, Susana Morales, Sven Grollmuss and Michael Scheer

The paper provides an overview of research published in the innovation and operations management (IOM) literature on 15 methods for cost management in new product…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper provides an overview of research published in the innovation and operations management (IOM) literature on 15 methods for cost management in new product development, and it provides a comparison to an earlier review of the management accounting (MA) literature (Wouters & Morales, 2014).

Methodology/approach

This structured literature search covers papers published in 23 journals in IOM in the period 1990–2014.

Findings

The search yielded a sample of 208 unique papers with 275 results (one paper could refer to multiple cost management methods). The top 3 methods are modular design, component commonality, and product platforms, with 115 results (42%) together. In the MA literature, these three methods accounted for 29%, but target costing was the most researched cost management method by far (26%). Simulation is the most frequently used research method in the IOM literature, whereas this was averagely used in the MA literature; qualitative studies were the most frequently used research method in the MA literature, whereas this was averagely used in the IOM literature. We found a lot of papers presenting practical approaches or decision models as a further development of a particular cost management method, which is a clear difference from the MA literature.

Research limitations/implications

This review focused on the same cost management methods, and future research could also consider other cost management methods which are likely to be more important in the IOM literature compared to the MA literature. Future research could also investigate innovative cost management practices in more detail through longitudinal case studies.

Originality/value

This review of research on methods for cost management published outside the MA literature provides an overview for MA researchers. It highlights key differences between both literatures in their research of the same cost management methods.

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Prashant Kumar Singh and Prabir Sarkar

The main purpose of this research is to understand the priorities of designers for an ecodesign support, while developing environmentally sustainable products. Also, this…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this research is to understand the priorities of designers for an ecodesign support, while developing environmentally sustainable products. Also, this study identifies the requirements of the designers for managing the environmental quality of products.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is conducted in two phases of survey. In the first phase, various requirements of designers are collected, refined and segregated under certain well defined characteristics of the ecodesign support. In second phase, the designers are asked to rank each characteristic of the ecodesign support in a questionnaire. The responses obtained from the designers are analyzed separately for engineering designers and design researchers by using Henry Garrett ranking technique to identify the priorities of designers for an ecodesign support.

Findings

Results show that there is a contrast between the perspective of engineering designers and design researchers, and their priorities for an ecodesign support are opposite to each other. Thus it can be understood that the features which are added by design researchers in ecodesign support may not be adequate for engineering designers to manage the environmental quality of products.

Originality/value

The designers play a key role in the development of environmentally benign products through the use of different ecodesign supports (i.e. tools or methods). Therefore, it is important to understand the desired characteristics of the ecodesign support from designer's perspective. Also, the priorities of designers from academia (design researchers) and industry (engineering designers) must be understood because they are the two stakeholders indulged in the development and usage of various ecodesign supports for environmentally conscious product development (ECPD).

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2020

Hao Qin, Hongwei Wang and Aylmer Johnson

This paper aims to explore the information needs and information-seeking behaviours of the new generation of engineering designers. A survey study is used to approach what…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the information needs and information-seeking behaviours of the new generation of engineering designers. A survey study is used to approach what their information needs are, how these needs change during an engineering design project and how their information-seeking behaviours have been influenced by the newly developed information technologies (ITs). Through an in-depth analysis of the survey results, the key functions have been identified for the next-generation management systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first proposed four hypotheses on the information needs and information-seeking behaviours of young engineers. Then, a survey study was undertaken to understand their information usage in terms of the information needs and information-seeking behaviours during a complete engineering design process. Through analysing the survey results, several findings were obtained and on this basis, further comparisons were made to discuss and evaluate the hypotheses.

Findings

The paper has revealed that the engineering designers' information needs will evolve throughout the engineering design project; thus, they should be assisted at several different levels. Although they intend to search information and knowledge on know-what and know-how, what they really require is the know-why knowledge in order to help them complete design tasks. Also, the paper has shown how the newly developed ITs and web-based applications have influenced the engineers' information-seeking practices.

Research limitations/implications

The research subjects chosen in this study are engineering students in universities who, although not as experienced as engineers in companies, do go through a complete design process with the tasks similar to industrial scenarios. In addition, the focus of this study is to understand the information-seeking behaviours of a new generation of design engineers, so that the development of next-generation information and knowledge management systems can be well informed. In this sense, the results obtained do reveal some new knowledge about the information-seeking behaviours during a general design process.

Practical implications

This paper first identifies the information needs and information-seeking behaviours of the new generation of engineering designers. On this basis, the varied ways to meet these needs and behaviours are discussed and elaborated. This intends to provide the key characteristics for the development of the next-generation knowledge management system for engineering design projects.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a novel means of exploring the future engineers' information needs and information-seeking behaviours in a collaborative working environment. It also characterises the key features and functions for the next generation of knowledge management systems for engineering design.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Jonathan Gosling, Bill Hewlett and Mohamed M. Naim

The customer order decoupling point (CODP) concept addresses the issue of customer engagement in the manufacturing process. This has traditionally been applied to material…

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Abstract

Purpose

The customer order decoupling point (CODP) concept addresses the issue of customer engagement in the manufacturing process. This has traditionally been applied to material flows, but has more recently been applied to engineering activities. This later subject becomes of particular importance to companies operating in “engineer-to-order” (ETO) supply chains, where each order is potentially unique. Existing conceptualisations of ETO are too generic for practical purposes, so there is a need to better understand order penetration in the context of engineering activities, especially design. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to address the question “how do customer penetration concepts apply to engineering design activities?”

Design/methodology/approach

A collaborative form of inquiry is adopted, whereby academics and practitioners co-operated to develop a conceptual framework. Within this overarching research design, a focus group of senior practitioners and multiple case studies principally from complex civil and structural engineering as well as scientific equipment projects are used to explore the framework.

Findings

The framework results in a classification of nine potential engineering subclasses, and insight is given into order penetration points, major uncertainties and enablers via the case studies. Focus group findings indicate that different managerial approaches are needed across subclasses.

Practical implications

The findings give insight for companies that engage directly with customers on a one-to-one basis, outlining the extent of customer penetration in engineering activities, associated operational strategies and choices regarding the co-creation of products with customers. Care should be taken in generalising beyond the sectors addressed in the study.

Originality/value

The paper refines the definition of the ETO concept, and gives a more complete understanding of customer penetration concepts. It provides a comprehensive reconceptualization of the ETO category, supported by exploratory empirical research.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 2 April 2015

Johannes Hinckeldeyn, Rob Dekkers and Jochen Kreutzfeldt

Maintaining and improving productivity of product design and engineering processes has been a paramount challenge for design-driven companies, which are characterised a…

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2078

Abstract

Purpose

Maintaining and improving productivity of product design and engineering processes has been a paramount challenge for design-driven companies, which are characterised a high degree of development of products and processes in order to meet particular customer requirements. Literature on this issue is fragmented and dispersed and a concise and systematic overview is lacking. Hence, it remains unclear, which methods are applicable for design-driven companies to improve the productivity of limitedly available engineering resources (a challenge companies and nations face currently). The purpose of this paper is to develop such a systematic overview.

Design/methodology/approach

An unusual approach was utilised by combining the outcomes from a systematic literature review and the results of a Delphi study. From both research approaches complementary and overlapping methods for improving the productivity of product design and engineering processes could be drawn.

Findings

The unique systematic overview presents 27 methods to increase the productivity, effectiveness and efficiency of product design and engineering processes of design-driven companies. Moreover, the study finds that methods for improving effectiveness are preferred over methods for improving efficiency and that limitations with regard to the availability of resources are often not considered.

Research limitations/implications

During the development of the systematic overview, a lack of empirical evidence to assess the actual impact of productivity improvement methods was discovered. This shortcoming demonstrates the need for more conceptual and empirical work in this domain. More studies are needed to test and confirm the usefulness of the proposed methods.

Practical implications

Nevertheless, design-driven companies, which struggle to increase the productivity of their product design and engineering processes, can systematically select improvement methods from the overview according to their impact on productivity, effectiveness and efficiency. However, companies should keep in mind, whether effectiveness of product design and engineering can really be increased without considering limitations in engineering resources.

Originality/value

Therefore, the systematic overview provides a valuable map of the unexplored territory of productivity improvement methods for product design and engineering for both practitioners and researchers. For the latter ones, it creates directions for empirical investigations in order to explore and to compare methods for the improvement of productivity of product design and engineering processes.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

TR Sreeram and Asokan Thondiyath

The purpose of this paper is to present a combined framework for system design using Six Sigma and Lean concepts. Systems Engineering has evolved independently and there…

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1220

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a combined framework for system design using Six Sigma and Lean concepts. Systems Engineering has evolved independently and there are numerous tools and techniques available to address issues that may arise in the design of systems. In the context of systems design, the application of Six Sigma and Lean concepts results in a flexible and adaptable framework. A combined framework is presented here that allows better visualization of the system-level components and their interactions at parametric level, and it also illuminates gaps that make way for continuous improvement. The Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act is the basis of this framework. Three case studies are presented to evaluate the application of this framework in the context of Systems Engineering design. The paper concludes with a summary of advantages of using a combined framework, its limitations and scope for future work.

Design/methodology/approach

Six Sigma, Lean and Systems Engineering approaches combined into a framework for collaborative product development.

Findings

The present framework is not rigid and does not attempt to force fit any tools or concepts. The framework is generic and allows flexibility through a plug and play type of implementation. This is important, as engineering change needs vary constantly to meet consumer demands. Therefore, it is important to engrain flexibility in the development of a foundational framework for design-encapsulating improvements and innovation. From a sustainability perspective, it is important to develop techniques that drive rationality in the decisions, especially during tradeoffs and conflicts.

Research limitations/implications

Scalability of the approach for large systems where complex interactions exist. Besides, the application of negotiation techniques for more than three persons poses a challenge from a mathematical context. Future research should address these in the context of systems design using Six Sigma and Lean techniques.

Practical implications

This paper provides a flexible framework for combining the three techniques based on Six Sigma, Lean and Systems Engineering.

Social implications

This paper will influence the construction of agent-based systems, particularly the ones using the Habermas’s theory of social action as the basis for product development.

Originality/value

This paper has not been published in any other journal or conference.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2020

Renee M. Clark, Lisa M. Stabryla and Leanne M. Gilbertson

The purpose of this study was to assess particular student outcomes when design thinking was integrated into an environmental engineering course. The literature is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to assess particular student outcomes when design thinking was integrated into an environmental engineering course. The literature is increasingly promoting design thinking for addressing societal and environmental sustainability engineering challenges. Design thinking is a human-centered approach that identifies needs upfront.

Design/methodology/approach

In an undergraduate engineering course, Design for the Environment, students have begun to obtain hands-on experience in applying design thinking to sustainability challenges. This case study investigates the association between the use of design thinking and student creativity with sustainability design solutions. Student perspectives on their own creativity and future sustainable design practices as a result of the course were also investigated.

Findings

The findings were favorable for design thinking, being associated with a significant difference and medium-to-large effect with regards to solution novelty. A qualitative analysis showed a positive association between design thinking and students’ perceptions of their creativity and future anticipated sustainability practices. Using a content analysis of reflective writings, students’ application of design thinking was assessed for comprehensiveness and correctness. A two-week introductory design-thinking module and significant use of in-class active learning were the course elements that most notably impacted students’ use of design thinking.

Practical implications

This case study preliminarily demonstrates that application of design thinking within an environmental engineering course may be associated with beneficial outcomes related to creativity and sustainability.

Originality/value

A review of the literature did not uncover studies of the use of design thinking for undergraduate socio-environmental challenges to promote creativity and sustainable-practices outcomes, although the literature has been calling for the marrying of these two areas.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2020

Deniz Ustun, Serdar Carbas and Abdurrahim Toktas

In line with computational technological advances, obtaining optimal solutions for engineering problems has become attractive research topics in various disciplines and…

Abstract

Purpose

In line with computational technological advances, obtaining optimal solutions for engineering problems has become attractive research topics in various disciplines and real engineering systems having multiple objectives. Therefore, it is aimed to ensure that the multiple objectives are simultaneously optimized by considering them among the trade-offs. Furthermore, the practical means of solving those problems are principally concentrated on handling various complicated constraints. The purpose of this paper is to suggest an algorithm based on symbiotic organisms search (SOS), which mimics the symbiotic reciprocal influence scheme adopted by organisms to live on and breed within the ecosystem, for constrained multi-objective engineering design problems.

Design/methodology/approach

Though the general performance of SOS algorithm was previously well demonstrated for ordinary single objective optimization problems, its efficacy on multi-objective real engineering problems will be decisive about the performance. The SOS algorithm is, hence, implemented to obtain the optimal solutions of challengingly constrained multi-objective engineering design problems using the Pareto optimality concept.

Findings

Four well-known mixed constrained multi-objective engineering design problems and a real-world complex constrained multilayer dielectric filter design problem are tackled to demonstrate the precision and stability of the multi-objective SOS (MOSOS) algorithm. Also, the comparison of the obtained results with some other well-known metaheuristics illustrates the validity and robustness of the proposed algorithm.

Originality/value

The algorithmic performance of the MOSOS on the challengingly constrained multi-objective multidisciplinary engineering design problems with constraint-handling approach is successfully demonstrated with respect to the obtained outperforming final optimal designs.

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2008

Achintya Haldar and Ali Mehrabian

Structural engineering as a part of civil engineering has over 5,000 years of distinguished history, as documented in this paper. An attempt is made in this paper to…

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2121

Abstract

Purpose

Structural engineering as a part of civil engineering has over 5,000 years of distinguished history, as documented in this paper. An attempt is made in this paper to define structural engineering as it exists at present, then some historical structures are identified.

Design/methodology/approach

The advances of structural engineering are discussed in chronological order, encompassing the development of the concept, analysis, the use of innovative construction materials, and construction. The developments which necessitated the change of design philosophies are presented, and the current status of structural engineering is discussed in terms of several specific topics. Opportunities and challenges in the new millennium in structural engineering are then presented in terms of education, service to society, and research.

Findings

In the past, structural engineering always met the challenges it faced. It helped to improve our quality of life, and its role in society is not expected to change in the near future.

Originality/value

The paper has provided an over‐view of this important profession – from ancient history to the present day. Based on research over several decades it offers a prediction of the direction in which this profession and the academic research that underpins it is likely to take in the future.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2018

Chandra Mouli Vemury, Oliver Heidrich, Neil Thorpe and Tracey Crosbie

The purpose of this paper is to present pedagogical approaches developed and implemented to deliver sustainable design education (SDE) to second-year undergraduate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present pedagogical approaches developed and implemented to deliver sustainable design education (SDE) to second-year undergraduate students on civil engineering programmes in the (then) School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University. In doing so, the work presented offers an example of how to help students understand the contested and contingent nature of sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The research presented takes an action-based approach to the development of a teaching and assessment model centered on problem- and project-based learning in a real-world context.

Findings

Because of the use of a design brief, which addresses a practical infrastructure problem encountered by regional communities, the academic team were able to make arguments related to the three pillars of sustainability more accessible to the students. This suggests that pedagogical instruments based on problem- and project-based learning strategies are effective in delivering SDE.

Practical implications

The successful delivery of SDE requires commitment from the senior management teams leading individual departments as well as commitments embedded in the high-level strategies of Higher Education institutions. It was also found that some students need extra support from the teaching staff if their engagement through SDE is to be successful. This has practical implications for the amount of contact time built into undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Originality/value

The teaching and assessment model presented in this paper addresses various substantive and normative issues associated with SDE making it relevant and transferable to courses other than civil engineering.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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